“Find your way back to us” …a reflection on the Outlander fandom today

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I’m hoping the dust has settled enough for me to write this.  Be patient please it is longer than I normally write and I need you to read to the end! It has been an -interesting -year in the fandom to say the least.  Those folks who have been around since the beginning will testify that things have changed. I’m not sure if this is a natural progression in all fandom, growing pains if you will, or something unique to this fandom. This is my first.  I started the blog about two and a half years ago and in that time I’ve had a lot of contact with fans and had time to observe changes…

IN THE BEGINNING

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I tiptoed into the fandom.  It started with being fascinated by the books and wanting to know more about the author.  I discovered Herself’s Facebook page and CompuServe.  I was at the time, but didn’t know it, a lurker.  I watched and read others interactions, but didn’t feel confident enough to wade in myself.  One day, news came that the books were finally being made into film and my interest was piqued.  I found myself showing up on social media at least once a day to see what was happening.  Eventually, our “cast watch” paid off with the news that the last person we expected to be cast was cast first.  Sam Heughan was to play Jamie.  To say his reception was lukewarm might be an understatement.  Now that I’m reflecting, I realize this was probably my first exposure to the negative side of our fandom.  Sam just didn’t fit the image of Jamie folks had in their heads and he didn’t fit Diana’s description in “the Book”. I just genuflected. Fidelity to the “book” is a major issue in the fandom.  Despite Diana’s assurances that she had her doubts until she saw the audition tape and explaining what it is that actors do…the debate and complaints continued.  At first, the passion was amusing to me. I found myself more times than not reading these raging debates about hair color and height while chuckling and eye-rolling.  It just couldn’t be taken seriously and I assumed most people could see it for what it was…silly, but harmless.

I would love to say things stayed that way, silly and harmless, but they didn’t.  Oh, for awhile things were great!  I ventured on to Twitter because I heard Sam tweeted and I wanted to say congratulations.  No, I still haven’t heard from him…grumble…grumble. But, in his defense I haven’t tweeted him very often and he has just a few fans now. I also began interacting with other fans.  Some folks were playing around with writing Outlander Haiku. I was amused and took a risk of posting one!

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Low and behold, people responded and I began to tweet back.  It was fun!  I was talking to people from all over the world! People were nice, polite, and funny!  We all marveled at how we had come together over a book and the phrase “because she wrote a book” was born.

Then, I had my next run in with the negative side of the fandom.  I’m not sure why it surprised me, people online are likely to be pretty much the same as people offline, but I was taken aback and saddened.  You see, I have an alarming lack of a suspicious nature.  I want to believe that everyone is genuine and has good intentions and I tend to overlook what most people would see as red flags.  I was warned.  My husband who is a good bit more cynical than myself was a bit worried about my interactions with people I only knew online, “People can pretend to be whomever they want to be on there.  You have no idea who you are talking to.”  He was right.  I struck up a friendship with someone I thought I had a lot in common with and ignored what were certainly red flags.  This person was not who she presented herself to be.  I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I have my suspicions that it had to do with jealousy.  I found myself ostracized for something I did not do and would never do.  I was hurt and angry for awhile, but remembered the advice I gave my daughter when she came home devastated by a rumor.

“Consider the source”, I told her.  “How important is this person’s opinion really?  Just because someone says something it doesn’t mean you have to take it in and give it power.  The people who know you best won’t believe it and they are the folks that matter. The best revenge is living well (or in my case writing well). You know who you are.  Find those people who know who you are too and keep being yourself.”  Pretty good advice and so, I decided to follow it and I wish others would too.  Not everyone you meet in the fandom is who they present themselves to be (hence multiple handles and sock accounts) it’s okay to be cautious and please understand not everyone plays by the same rules.

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING

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I’ve done a lot of different things in my life.  My husband was a college football coach and we moved quite a bit.  Every time we moved I got a chance to reinvent myself and try on something new. My Gemini side liked it!  One of the things I had a chance to become was a mental health/drug and alcohol counselor.  I know this seems strange given my lack of a suspicious nature, but I think that same nature made me more empathetic.  I remember several of my clients because of their struggles with addiction and disease, but I also remember how much they taught me about what is important in life.  One client in particular helped me be a better mother.  Despite her own struggles, she was a good parent and I believe her daughter would most probably survive being the child of an addict because of life lessons taught by her mother.  It’s a paradox, I know, but life is rarely simple and easy to understand and addiction doesn’t care who you are or how you were raised.  One of funniest and most moving things my client ever told me was how she responded to her daughter when she came home from school upset by a bully who had called her names.

“Jimmy said I was a poop head!” her daughter tearfully exclaimed.

“Well, are you?” said her mother.

She told me her daughter looked shocked and puzzled.

“Go look in the mirror”, she suggested. “Is your head made of poop?”

Her daughter took a serious look into the mirror and responded, “No.”

“Then I guess you aren’t a poop head”, my client confirmed.

People say mean things, but that doesn’t make them true. When someone in the fandom calls you a name take a serious look in the mirror.  If you aren’t a poop head let it go and if you are? Acceptance is the first step to recovery.  You give it power when you take in the meanness and give it free rent in your head. Believe me when I say your being upset isn’t bothering the name caller at all.  They are most probably on their merry way spreading more shite…the poop heads.

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I used to believe that it was wrong to tell folks that complained about the show or fandom to stop watching or to get out.  I believed that they had every right to talk about what they liked and didn’t like and feel how they wanted to feel .  But, I think I might be changing my mind.  I get comments on the blog sometimes that give me pause to reconsider my stance on issues including this one. I hear from folks who find themselves so caught up in this fandom and show that it is affecting their well-being.

…there are certain iconic moments and iconic lines that readers have spent years investing themselves in that are ignored or given to the wrong characters, and we’re supposed to be grateful when it happens.

Too many iconic moments were “adapted” into oblivion or – an even worse sin – they were kept, but handed over to other characters. Hearing Claire deliver some of the lines that I have waited years to hear from Jamie’s lips was worse than omission-through-adaptation. At times, it felt like a betrayal of the book fandom, as though the book fandom got it all wrong and RDM was going to show us what we *should* have wanted instead (like shoving Frank down our throats when we’ve been waiting 20 years to see Jamie, and so on, and so on). The Harry Potter films were proper adaptations; if RDM and co. had “adapted” those series, he would have given Harry’s lines away to Snape and Ron, and Hermione would have defeated Voldemort herself, because letting Harry be Harry would have been ‘too predictable’ for book fans and women must be ‘liberated’…

I’m tired of feeling like a “Disgruntled” (as my once-favorite author labeled me on her very own Twitter feed… ) How silly of me to love something for over 10 years and be disappointed when it isn’t delivered, eh? I have been told so many times this season to love it or leave it that I have made the decision to leave it – all of it. It was fun while it lasted, but I give up, I’m shelving the books and leaving Outlander groups and blogs because I’m tired of being vilified for wanting more of what the books were actually about (hint: they are not about Frank; Jamie and Claire are partners and equals and Jamie doesn’t have to be emasculated for his wife to be strong; the love story is a character unto itself, not a side-plot to the Jacobite cause). I’m tired of walking around in an awful mood because of silly TV show and because internet strangers have made me feel bad about feeling bad.

Beth Wesson, your research is thorough and your blog well-written, and I am sad to disagree with such great efforts and writing. Good luck with S3, I’m sad I won’t be with you.

 

I replied.

I’m really sad that you feel this way, but I support your need for self care. If you find your self walking around upset and vilified it truly isn’t worth it. Thank you for reading.

If being in this fandom is causing you to feel angry and bad about yourself and affects your real-life … get out.  It truly isn’t worth it.

IF YOU LIE DOWN WITH DOGS YOU CAN GET FLEAS

A friend and I were discussing all the drama in the fandom.  She had gotten caught up in all the shipper/anti wars.  She wasn’t participating, but found herself fascinated.  It was like a car wreck that she couldn’t look away from. She found it was interesting to see how people interacted and thought…from a scientific psychological standpoint..ahem.

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She urged me to go to Tumblr and check it out.  She was right.  The rationalization and need to be right I saw was fascinating and …staggering.  I found myself reading what can only be termed as manifestos!  People were invested in this drama and it was getting uglier by the minute. It made me want to jump in and fix things and yet, I felt hopeless because I knew that there was nothing I could say or do that would make a difference or not make things worse! I found it was very easy to get caught up in the drama and I soon began to feel uncomfortable.

I will say that I think who you hang out with in this fandom might have a lot to do with how you feel about the fandom. What you spend your time on and who you spend it with matters. I found myself becoming anxious and upset when I read all the complaining and truly awful things said about other fans, the cast, crew, writers, producers, and Starz.   Then I realized that I needed to take my own advice and ask myself how much these people’s opinions mattered and how much power was I going to give them?  I took a look and realized that most were people I didn’t interact with and in the scheme of the millions of people who watch the show they were vocal, but certainly not a majority.

Spending time reading their stuff made me feel bad about myself and the fandom and so, I stopped going to certain blogs and pages and reading certain people’s tweets. Distancing myself was a positive choice. I felt much better and my friend and I, who had also decided to stop going to certain blogs, laughingly  wondered if something is said, but we didn’t read it did it actually happen?  Truly, in some instances, what you don’t know cant’t hurt you.

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I know there is a popular idea that turning a blind eye to this stuff is wrong.  On some level,  I agree. There are times to stand up, but I also think that there are folks out there who crave the attention and drama and when we respond we feed the behavior. We have all been witness to bullies bullying in the name of stopping bullies.  I truly have yet to see any attempts, no matter how well intention-ed, to discuss and build bridges between fans that have actually worked. I applaud and admire the peacemakers’ courage and hearts. But, I’ve come to understand that there are more factions in this fandom than you can shake a stick at! Try to build a bridge with one group and you’ll just piss off another.  I don’t think it is a battle that can be won.

So, what’s to do?  I’m sorry to say, but I think our only option is to block, mute, ignore, skim on by, report it if it is truly heinous, and find your own tribe.  If bitching about the adaptation is your thing then go for it!  Find your own group of like-minded folks and bitch away, but if you don’t like being told what to think, what makes you think you have the right to tell someone else what to think? We don’t have to make the choice to get involved or put in our two cents. Some of the most effective ways I’ve seen folks deal with this stuff is to agree to disagree and …let it go!  It’s a big fandom and there is room to let folks just be themselves whether we like it or not.

I’ll admit that I still get mad at folks.  Just yesterday, I saw some fans discussing the fandom on Twitter. They are the “this fandom drives me crazy” and “I hate this fandom” folks who believe they are the only sane fans out there. The drift of the conversation was that they couldn’t believe that some of these fans were grown women because they acted like teenagers and they were tired of making excuses for them.  They knew fans had waited a long time to see the “books” on the screen, but the show isn’t perfect and neither are the books.  They then proceeded to explain why they didn’t like the show…because it wasn’t like the “books”.  It’s hypocrisy like this that makes me the most angry.  It is much easier for me to forgive a fan who gets carried away in passion than those who like to pretend they are above it all while they fawn on the stars and expound on their on cleverness and insight.  There is more than one way to be a fan.

Every-time I get angry at some hypocrisy or deliberate attempts to bait cast and creators, I try to remember that there is a multitude of fans who just want to enjoy the show and some for whom it has meant…something more important…and I often hear from them…

Stories make us feel and think. Stories have power. Stories move us, shape us, and do the same to the world.” What a powerful statement….and for me so true!!! This has been an extremely emotional morning for me, after watching the finale early Saturday morning alone, I came to the realization just how important DG’s books and finding this show has been for me. When I discovered the Outlander series I was in a very difficult place emotionally. I first heard about Outlander through a Starz commercial prior to the first season and had every intention of watching. But, as the saying goes, make plans and God laughs….In 2014 my husband was diagnosed with kidney failure, which launched a year long search for a kidney donor and his name being placed on a donor list. After a year, my son, who is not my husbands biological son, made a decision without discussion, to donate his kidney to my husband. He saved my husband’s life. It was a courageous and unselfish thing to do, and for me overwhelming, since both of my men would be on the operating table together, and would suffer the same risks. While this was a very successful transplant, it was nonetheless extremely traumatic for me. In order to be a care-giver and advocate, initially to both and eventually to only my husband, meant that my life had to be placed on hold. I built a wall that protected me emotionally… that wall went up….and never came down…. until…. I read Outlander & watched the show. I wonder if Diana Gabaldon knew when she wrote the Outlander series that she would have the power to change a persons life…but her story had power, and the actors who portrayed those characters and the writers who gave them a voice only enhanced that power. I found her spiritual references, poems, and the love she created between her characters absolutely moving, life-changing and refreshing. Which is why some of us wanted so badly for the adaptation to follow the books, absolutely. But, because RonDMoore had the courage and power to adapt for TV many scenes from the book, one in particular for me, the violation of Fergus, I was forever changed. He gave me power and courage to write on this blog, my experience as a victim. Thank you Beth for providing the safe place to have these discussions! And lets not forget DG’s historical references, which also lead me to trace two of my family lines..Cameron and Fraser….right to Scotland on the battlefields…incredible! I know there are many people who have had their life enhanced or changed by reading the books and viewing the show; just read all the various tweets & this blog. People sometimes laugh at us when we talk Outlander and about the greatness of this show; my husband is one of them, but he doesn’t realize that it saved me emotionally, brought me back to him, and really left an impression on my life. I hope the actors, Diana, Ron, Terry, and all the writers realize how many people have been touched by their creativity….it is absolutely incredible how a series of fictional books and a television show could have that much power, for so many people! It is also a reminder that true love conquers all things, and that love & communication are so important in a relationship. Thank you to all the Outlander cast & crew and especially to DG for writing such wonderful books that have touched me in so many ways. Finally, thank you Beth for utilizing your God given talent to touch us with your insight. You are the best at being able to put into words that prompt us to think and respond……. I am forever grateful……

GETTING OFF MY SOAPBOX

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Being a part of this fandom has brought a lot of wonderful things into my life including real-life friends! #cgng #bawdybabes  This fandom used to be a fun place.  And, I think it still can be. Mining is wrong.  Name calling is wrong. Vilifying people for not agreeing with you is wrong.  I once wrote a whole researched piece on this topic and realized I’d just be preaching to the choir and so, I put it in the trash.  Those who are perpetrators of the drama in this fandom won’t see themselves as such and so, weren’t likely to change their behavior just because I wrote about it.  But, there are a lot of folks out there who get caught up in the drama like my friend and I did and it’s you I’m speaking to.  Be slow to anger and find joy in this fandom again.  It’s there.  There are a lot of wonderful, interesting, talented, and generous people from all over the world in this fandom, “Find your way back to us”.

 

 

 

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134 thoughts on ““Find your way back to us” …a reflection on the Outlander fandom today

  1. Once again Beth, you are right on. I’ve always scratched my head at those who are nasty and negative. I don’t get putting that much energy at being mad. I get the difference of opinions and wishing something you liked in the book was in the show, but not everything can be or should be. What works in a book we know may not translate to the screen. I love having the books and knowing them so I have backround into characters emotions or an understanding of the place and time. I watch and enjoy the show separately. I watch a show to be lost in that world and those characters. If you learn of feel something- great. If not, then why watch.
    I too stopped reading the stuff I found truly negative and nasty. I don’t have time for that. I choose happiness. A difference of opinion is one thing, but try to bully ideas through, is a whole other matter. Let’s be intelligent about this folks. I love reading your blog and can’t wait to hear what you have to say for S3. Next to the original Outlander, Voyager is my next favorite book.

  2. Erika

    Oh Beth, I just wrote a really long comment and WordPress made me reset my password and the comment went bye-bye. So I will summarize my tome on bullying and friendship into one sentence:

    The Outlander fandom has shown me a world of emotional highs and lows, and I believe that your words of positivity and support can touch individuals deeply and make them feel OK, cherished for their contribution, or simply give them a sense of a belonging in this wonderful tribe whether they are regular contributors or lovely “lurkers”.

    Ok, it was a long sentence but I made it! And it covers all the important points. Should have tried that to start with. Kudos to you!

  3. Ciao Beth! You inspire peace and spread harmony. It’s nice. Obviously, your wise words don’t even touch bad or anger-monger people, but it doesn’t mind, let it go is almost always the better thing to do. It’s useless to try “get blood out of a stone”, I think….
    However, if it’s so difficult, hard, weird, to me as italian/european, even exactly to understand what IS a “fandom” or to be a fan in the “good side/manner”, it’s absolutely impossible to understand what happens in the fan or fandom that are “bad side/manner” 😉
    We haven’t habits to “follow” or interest towards actors/series etc.
    At least in Rome, we are used to see them wherever – market, post office, shops…- and nobody’s going to talk them. Just a “hello”, if he/she was famous 😉 😉
    But we aren’t immune: we italians are all sort of sticklers for politics, we are all politician-mad 😉 In that, emotions run high.
    Oh, I almost forgot: soccer!! About soccer, some people – male – are at each other’s throats!!!!
    Alternatively, we are so disenchanted that it’s impossible take something much seriously…
    For my part, I think humour, although not only and always good, save us from excess.

    With Outlander I really discovered a new world. Call me “Columbus” of 3rd millennium – but I came in peace 😉 😉
    By the short, I can not be a fan because of my genetics…. I consider myself a TRIBUTE TO OUTLANDER. SOMETIMES, A VICTIM…. 😉 😉 😉

    I discovered Outlander last November, thanks to my boyfriend – and we adore it, for the same reasons. It’s not a “love story” at all! It’s plenty of “humane”, deepest human emotions!
    It has been the first serie I saw in my life!
    I OWE OUTLANDER JOY

    At soon, dear Beth

  4. bwismer5

    Thanks so much Beth – you are completely right. The trollers may have found our “fanmily”, but we’ll just ignore them and go on being appreciative and grateful for our Outlander Community, and all the wonderful work being done, and the wonderful people we find. Thank you for saying this.

  5. SCHMITTS SERVICE CENTER

    So very well said, again. I agree with about 95% of this, and the other 5% doesn’t really matter anyway. I am sad at the horrible things that have been happening with this fandom. I have left several blogs, and Facebook pages devoted to Outlander because of this nastiness. Everyone has a right to their opinion, if I am respecting their right, they in turn should respect mine.

    As far as shippers and anti shippers? Again, I used to belong to several fan groups, classified myself positively as a non-shipper, thinking that was where I should “fit” in. I have done a complete 180. I still would not call myself a “shipper”, but I find that I like the camaraderie that this group of people have. They enjoy the show, they make awesome GIFS, (I am sure my husband thinks I am nuts when I appear to be laughing at my computer monitor) and they have each others backs. Do I agree with everything they say or do? No, but I am okay with that, and I do not feel the need to defend my thinking on their blogs.

    I put the books away early last season, and have learned to accept the Series as an adaptation. Do I wish things omitted hadn’t been? Sure, but I know that when I feel like that, I can just pick up the book and enjoy it that way. Looking forward to Season 3, and of course your blog which hopefully will continue through the 2nd Droughtlander.

  6. Great as always Beth. You are so much better at saying this stuff without irritating people. Guess I’m more of an ‘in the face person’ with my writing. It suits me but maybe isn’t as effective as how you write.

    I can’t get behind shippers. I just can’t. That practice to me is so intrusive and wrong. I can’t stop them and wouldn’t want to try – but do wish they would keep such things in private FB groups etc. – esp. now that Sam & Cait have been so public in stating they are FRIENDS. People want to believe otherwise – that is their prerogative I guess, but don’t shove it down everyone else’s throat or get combative/threatening when people don’t agree with your fantasy.

    I too have dumped out of many groups. The complaining and bad-mouthing just aren’t something I want to deal with. Open discussion – sure – I always encourage that! Calling RDM foul names and using expletives to say what an idiot he or Terry or STARZ or (pick – I’ve seen this done to just about everyone connected with the show at one time or another) isn’t discussion, it’s bashing and complaining. I seriously consider just walking away from the fandom – a lot. I guess there is enough good I stay in the ‘fight’ – but right now I’m busy having a vacation delivering a sailboat from San Diego to San Francisco and I’m really enjoying my very limited online time right now.

  7. Connie Villescas

    Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU Beth for saying what so many of us original OutFanders have been thinking and feeling for so long. It seems the more popular the show gets, the more the fandom grows – which is a good thing, but the intimate bond we had all shared seems to be going. I know it’s not really, but at times when I read the negative comments and right out rude responses, it hurts. Diana, Ron, Terry, Maril and all the other Outlander writers, cast and crew have put their heart and soul into bringing Outlander to the screen for “our” viewing pleasure.

    It’s never going to be like the books. It’s never going to fit every fans expectations. It’s never going to be perfect. Some people expect this and more.

    I will continue to engage on FB, Twitter and other SM with our OL FanMily and try my hardest to disregard those that are hurtful and negative. Try to read and leave. Not engage.

    Have a wonderful day and know their are those of us who are right there next to you!d

    ConnieV

  8. Oh Beth, I just love your blogs. ❤️
    Personally I often find myself in a difficult situation: I love the books, but I also love the show and the changes. But sometimes I have a feeling it’s not okay to love both just as much. To be okay with the changes and just to be happy to what I see on screen.
    Maybe it is because I’m not a fan for 25 years, but only 10 months.
    And then there are the moments where I see so much drama on Twitter and I sometimes make the mistake to read it. It gives me such a horrible feeling. Sick in my stomach even. The negative wins at that point from the positive.

    Your blog makes me realise that it’s okay to step away from it. To just be happy with both the book and the show.
    Outlander made my life so much better, even in those short 10 months and each day I’m curious how it’s going to change again. It might be silly, but Outlander gives me hope. That whatever happens is meant to be.

    I’m blessed to be in an Outlander related group that is each day so positive and kind to each other.
    But I also need to walk away from the negative. Not feel sorry if I unfollow somebody. But just doing it because to me it doesn’t feel right.

    Thank you Beth, for your great blog!
    Xx Chantal

    • Nic

      Yes, this! Chantal, I too love both book and show… The book is the book, the show is the show. There were some things I would have loved to see in the show that couldn’t be there, and I understand fully the logistical reasons for it. However, I also love things that were in the show that weren’t in the books, like Frank burning Claire’s clothes (I ALWATS wanted to know what happened to them!) and Claire’s PTSD in Ep 9. Superb development of a point that is made in passing in the book or maybe not even mentioned at all. I stopped reading a lot of fandom stuff this season because I felt I shouldn’t have to get hot under the collar about liking both, and I’m glad others feel this way too (also a newbie fan -14 months for me)

  9. As I was reading the “please read to the end” Post, my brain was whirling. At each paragraph, I stopped and took a breath before going on. I was SO afraid that you were going to say “it” had gotten to you, and you were going to stop the Blog…..like forever ! THANK GOD that appeared nowhere in print ! I could stand the weird looks from my Family as I rave on about “Outlander, even the blank looks from non-believer Friends, but NOT a World without Beth’s Blog ! You stitch us all together like one of the Beautiful Gowns from Terrie’s imagination. I said it before, that you bring out the parts of the show, the secondary meaning,the dialog I didn’t catch, the looks I missed and in short order, I have an even
    larger appreciation for the Show and it’s Characters. I love when you to crystallize each episode,,…. and you have yet to disappoint. THANK YOU for sticking it out with us. “We” stand ready !!

  10. Helen P.

    Beth, this is just what I needed to read. I had to learn to quit reading comments that upset me. For example,criticism of DG for some comments she made. I had read what DG had posted and the harsh criticism was totally uncalled for. Also,the amount of terrible comments about Brianna.I hope Sophia never reads them. Then there were the horrible conspiracy theories aimed at Ron Moore.l was totally confused about why they had so much to say about something they hated so much until I read about trolls. I guess l am too old (79 next month) to understand such things. I was raised that if you had nothing good to say, don’t say anything. That must be the reason I love your blog so much. Please keep on writing! Even though there are some things in the series I disagree with, it is still the best thing I’ve ever seen – and I’ve been watching TV since the beginning.

      • Helen, you are my Hero ! I am 73 and remember the very early days of B&W TV, first TV on the block on my Irish South SIde of Chicago Neighborhood ! This Show we love is indeed, THE best TV Show to hit the small screen. It has something for everyone…kinda like Ed Sullivan used to entertain us with eh ?

  11. I don’t use Twitter and am barely on Facebook so my experiences come from blogs and articles. Yours is by far one of my favorites because you (and your followers) listen to and respect all opinions even if they differ from what y’all think/believe-as long as it is phrased respectfully. Sadly that is not the case with many places/groups.
    I tend to be a “lurker” so that I don’t have to deal with the negativity that abounds when saying something that isn’t the same as everyone else is. My biggest pet peeve is when someone tells me to “understand the difference between the book and show.” I understand the difference. Very well. My bookshelves are stacked with books that were adapted into movies or shows. Some worked, others didn’t, and some I liked even though they were absolutely nothing like the book lol. You can see them separately and still have issues with one thing or another, and that doesn’t mean that I or you or anyone likes the show any less or is “less of a fan.”
    All of this rambling is leading me to say I understand everything you’re saying, and I appreciate it. Thank you for giving people a safe place to talk, discuss, and learn from one another. Thank you for keeping it cordial and respectful. We may not always agree, but we can always know we can speak our minds (respectfully and rationally) without fear of attack

  12. Beth, great post. I’m new to this fandom, and, really, I’ve found so interesting and exciting! Talk about passionate followers! And I’ve appreciated the forums that are for positive and critical discussion. Some fans are almost worshipful of the books and show and Diana, I’m not to that point, but I respect the passion! 😉 I loved the first season, except for a couple of episodes. Honestly, I was very put off by how graphic the rape was in the show. I sort of felt like Ron Moore was trying to push boundaries to win awards. I don’t think people need to see that level of torture to know it’s awful. It seemed gratuitous. For season two, to me, it’s a good adaptation in the sense that it hits the bullet points of the book’s plot, but it truly failed this season with developing the love between characters. Ron Moore and co. made decisions that emphasized Claire and diminished Jamie. I was so frustrated that they showed even a thrust on poor Fergus– it truly bothers me that they would subject that little actor to that scene when the audience is intelligent enough to understand what happened. On the other hand, they hardly showed any demonstrative affection between Jamie and Claire. They were reduced to pecks and hugs. So the director’s choices stump me. Why do you want to show graphic violence but not affection? Why do they give Jamie’s lines and ideas and actions to Claire? For her to seem strong, do they have to make him weaker? I think those are valid questions. I love the books. But I’m ok with some changes in the show. That’s inevitable. To be honest, there were parts in the books that I thought were slow. Changes can help. But I think like most readers I Love the relationship between Jamie and Claire the most. They are equals In every way. But She’s so in control in the show–I read somewhere that even Diana has said that the show is going over the top with the strong woman emphasis. In the books, Claire falls so deeply in love with Jamie. To me, in the show she sometimes acts like his mother! So I miss the love, respect, and physical passion between Jamie and Claire. Voyager is my favorite book, so I’ll hold out to see if it becomes the J&C show, rather than just Claire. If not, I don’t feel any obligation to watch, though I’d miss all the discussion! I don’t ever want to cross the line of disrespecting Ron, but I think it’s valid to say he seems to prefer to Tobias to Sam. I want the love story next season. They better deliver on the turtle soup! Lol!

    • I’m going to have to disagree! A lot of what you say sounds a lot like of “talking points”. I’ve heard repeated. I’m sorry you are disappointed, but disagree that anything was gratuitous or the relationship less intimate or dynamic between J&C. As far as Fergus scene, I’ve gone on record saying I didn’t agree, but if you read the whole article then you read about someone who was a child rape survivor who felt it was important and brave to show it. Thanks for reading and I’m glad you felt you could share your thoughts. Peace to you.

  13. I’ve thought about this post off and on since I read it shortly after it was posted. I am the kind of person who always likes the book better than the movie, but have learned that it doesn’t mean the movie was not good. In fact, the more time that passes between my reading of the book and the movie, the more I like the movie. The same was true for me with Outlander. I love it for many reasons, but mostly because all the people involved in it’s production seem to care so much about it. Maybe it’s always like that, but I think that is so cool. So, I figure the haters are going to hate and whether people love or hate Outlander or the bloggers, or the ‘shippers”, or non “shippers”, has more to do with them, what they expect and a multitude of other factors that affect the way we all process things.

    I love your blogs and I sincerely hope you keep writing!

  14. I am mostly a lurker for this very reason. I love a good discussion of the show in the same way I always loved literature discussions in my English classes. Truthfully, my opinion can be a little hard to change once I have made up my mind, but I very much enjoy hearing other peoples’ points of view. That said, I have often found myself wondering lately, “If you don’t like the show, then why do you watch it?” and “If you think the quality was so poor, why did you take the time to comment on it?” It says way more about the speaker than it does about the show.

    Like another commenter I was afraid you were going to end your piece by saying you were calling it quits. Please don’t. I look forward to your posts, and hope, if you don’t mind, to have occasional “comment conversations.” Thanks for the time and effort you put into this.

  15. Beth….

    Thank you so much for your blog. I have enjoyed each new post immensely.

    I, too, am generally a lurker. I just need to voice a few opinions here. I think that many who are so critical on social media have been totally ignoring the advice that, if one can’t say something nice, to say nothing. We all have opinions and feeling about DG’s books and the Starz series, as we do about anything else. My fear is that the Internet and social media are having a huge negative effect on many, many people. I’ve been noticing that much of what is posted and said is nothing but a “knee jerk reaction”. I do wish, with regard to Outlander, that viewers would step back and ask themselves how they would start with a massive book and manage to adapt it to just a few hours of film. Doing that, I think, reveals the genius of Ronald Moore and the rest of the cast and crew involved. Perhaps we would do this or that a little differently, but I can’t begin the imagine the enormity of the work involved in actually producing this show.

    I can actually feel some sympathy for those out there who have become so isolated and self-involved that they are losing their humanity in the process. There really is more to life than social media, but that would be news to these folks. So I, like you, refuse to rent space in my brain for these people.

    Thank you for letting me vent, and especially for all you do!

  16. Thank you, Beth. I enjoyed your post. For the first time in my life (68 yrs old) I have become a fan of a series of books and a TV show. However,, yours is the only blog I follow because I find it very enlightening, articulate and positive. I have been frustrated at times with season 2 and have expressed that here….I find that I do better just watching with an open mind and trying to keep my expectations under control. I want to acknowledge the wonderful work of Ron, Terry and the actors/crew. Although I read Diana’s series…I wasn’t a HUGE fan…but when I saw the series brought to life on TV, I fell in love with the fantastic beauty of Scotland, the acting of Caitriona and Sam and I was swept away int the wonderful world of Outlander. I often think it must be very difficult to put your heart and soul out into the world the way creative individuals do ( I count you as one of them) but I’m grateful many have the courage to do so.

  17. Just wanted to say that I appreciate your balanced comments. I probably am a ‘lurker’ not belonging or having ever belonged to any fandom but rather just someone who has read the books, with enjoyment mostly, and am also enjoying the series, mostly! Whilst trawling the internet for info on the show and shooting locations, actors etc. (I live in Scotland so am familiar with many of the locations), I stumbled across shippers and antis. Quite a revelation at my advanced age and I became rather fascinated with a world I had no idea existed. I believe I am perhaps not the only one.

    It is difficult not to become irritated by ridiculous claims and counter-claims but I do agree that it does no good to intervene at all and only feeds the feuds. I don’t think individuals should police other individuals either – but I do think in future people will have to think about how to make SM a better place. Perhaps if we all had to post as the people we are and not anonymous pseudonyms, it would make people think before they post. One should not say things on social media that one would not say face to face.

    Anyway, enough. I enjoy reading your posts and I will look forward to Series 3. Hope to watch Poldark before then to keep me going.

    Can I just say (I noticed a comment earlier) – it is perfectly possible for two blue-eyed people to have brown-eyed children. Both my husband and I have blue eyes, my son has very dark brown eyes and my daughter’s are more whisky coloured but definitely brown. Many years ago my daughter came home from a genetics lesson at school very accusingly but I could assure her there had been no hanky-panky on my part!

  18. Cathleen Corr

    My mind wants to gush at your lengthy, yet informative tome. As always, you are right on the mark. There is much to say, but I will just say this: Having spent four years in theater arts and being familiar with all aspects of same (including acting), I have been in awe of all parts of this production (Outlander). From the costumes to the set design to the writing and to the acting, it is all superbly done. We, as humans, are all imperfect and so does this production have it’s faults, but our beloved books have now gone from written page to beautifully bloom before ours eyes. I, for one, am grateful. Thank you for gifting us with your writing.

  19. Nic

    Thank you for this. I am new to this whole Outlander thing, relatively speaking, having watched the show first in June 2015, then read all the books (twice) by November. This season there have been parts o would have loved to see, but you know what? They are still in the book and in my head! I loved reading your blog last year, but all the screeching, shipping and slapping down of people during the screening of Season 2 made me completely withdraw from all the Outlander stuff out there (sadly even yours). Delighted to stumble across this post after being pointed back to you by Terri’s Twitter link to Lori’s guest post, and to be reminded of your thoughtful and considered opinions. In the short time I’ve loved the books, my life has been enriched – through the stories but more importantly by the people I have met through MPC (particularly a small group which has bonded so tightly it feels like we’ve known each other 20 years). Thanks for being here and still being you. I’ve got a lot of your posts to catch up on…

  20. As always, Beth. I enjoy reading your blog. I am an ordinary person, a retired middle school language arts teacher. I have read all the books and have reread many of them and reread many times, post-it note places. I am sorry that you have suffered so much from cruel people who are tweeting or responding to your blog. Please continue your involvement for the sake of the dedicated fans who are so happy to read your blog and watch our beloved characters played out on the screen. I now picture all the actors when I read the books. They all have done such a great job becoming their characters. How lucky we are to have such devoted, professional, talented people portray our beloved characters on the screen. How lucky we are that they are so fan oriented. How lucky we are that the costumes, sets, music, scenery, etc are top quality. How lucky we are that the producers, writers, and directors of Outlander try to keep what they perceive to be the spirit of the books in the series. Do I always like what they do? No. So I pick up the book and read. Am I happy that they care and are trying their best? Yes. I have favorite parts that I re-watch in every episode. We fans have been given a wonderful gift with the production of Outlander. I for one appreciate it and am happy that you are staying the course.

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